[URBAN NOTE] “The last days of Mirvish Village before it’s gone”
Amy Grief’s photo essay at blogTO takes a look at the last weeks of Mirvish Village before the transformation of Honest Ed’s guts this small neighbourhood, talking with some of the businesspeople of the street.
Darrel Dorsk started visiting Markham Street when he moved to Toronto from California in 1974. Like many, he would head to David Mirvish Books to buy the Sunday edition of the New York Times. Back then it cost 25 cents; he was a regular customer until the store closed in 2009. By then, the paper was $7.50.
Dorsk runs The Green Iguana Glassworks at 589 Markham St. He’s been in the same spot since 1981 and fills with storefront with his handmade frames, glass baubles and a variety of prints and pictures. “It’s very messy in here, but hopefully people find it interesting,” he says.
Neighbours refer to Dorsk as the mayor of Mirvish Village and he has plenty to say about his time on the street. “I like to tell people I’ve been suffering from an obscure medical syndrome working on Markham Street and the acronym is TMF. It stands for too much fun.”
Dorsk got his start in the 1970s selling stained glass boxes, which he made with his girlfriend at the time. His zoology degree from Berkley hangs in his store and he notes he once wanted to be a veterinarian – that’s why there are so many natural history prints on his wall.
He’s sad to be leaving Markham Street but plans to move his business into a building he bought at 948 Bloor Street West.